Investigation: Daughter Files Bankruptcy for Mom Swindled Out of Her Home - NBC Southern California
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Investigation: Daughter Files Bankruptcy for Mom Swindled Out of Her Home

In a rare move, the FBI intervened on the family's behalf following NBC 4's initial investigation

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    Keta Davis said the bank is in the process of foreclosing on her 86-year-old mother's home, even though the FBI has vouched for her case that she may have been the victim of fraud. Ana Garcia reports in this NBC 4 exclusive investigation. (Published Friday, Jan. 30, 2015)

    An alleged con who swindled a senior out of her house has local and federal agencies working to solve the case, which involves a former LAPD officer and the bishop of a local church.

    In an attempt to block the foreclosure scheduled for Wednesday, Keta Davis filed bankruptcy on behalf of her mother, Vistula Graham, who is in a nursing home and unaware of what’s happening with her home.

    The tangled web of fraud begins with Leroy Dowd, a 74-year-old, self-proclaimed charismatic leader of a now-defunct South LA church called Triumph Church of God.

    Dowd conned Graham into giving him money and signing over her house – a three-bedroom ranch in Lynwood that she bought more than 40 years ago and paid off in the late nineties, Davis said.

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    “He called himself a bishop, he called himself a prophet,” she said. Profit off her mother is more like it, she said.

    Davis said no one could believe the story until an exclusive NBC 4 investigation exposed the plot that investigators have been trying to untangle for years.

    “You did what you had to do and you investigated it,” Davis said.

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    After the NBC 4 report aired, the FBI took notice and did something the agency said it rarely does: the FBI gave Davis a letter to use in her fight to save her mother’s house.

    The letter identifies her mother, 86-year-old Vistula Graham, is a potential victim of real estate fraud scheme and that the case remains under investigation by the federal agency.

    Detectives from three law enforcement agencies said Bishop LeRoy Dowd, who allegedly co-signed on more than $800,000 dollars in loans and bank accounts using Graham’s house as collateral.

    Police uncovered a fellow officer who apparently benefitted from at least one of the fraudulent loans.

    “I don’t know how that occurred, I never met this woman,” Davis said, referring to Darcy Greenfield, who was an LAPD officer at the time of the suspected con.

    Greenfield had the house put in her company’s name and received $261,000 as the beneficiary of a loan, according to records obtained by NBC 4.

    Greenfield is no longer on the LAPD and is facing ten felony counts in an unrelated real estate fraud case in San Bernardino. Greenfield has pleaded not guilty, but in public statements has blamed Dowd for ripping her off.

    Davis deals with the repercussion of the con daily.

    “I receive a call every day from IndyMac bank,” she said. And they called again while NBC 4 was at her home.

    “The current status shows it’s in a current foreclosure status.”

    When asked for comment, One West Bank of Pasadena referred us to the statement they released to NBC 4 in January.

    The bank said the loan was approved by IndyMac before they merged with One West, which says they were unaware of any fraud.

    They say while they are sympathetic and have tried to work with Graham’s family, they still plan to foreclose.

    “I’ve said that it’s fraudulent, you’ve seen that the FBI believes it’s fraudulent the bank should just say let’s stop this matter now,” Davis said.

    NBC 4 could not locate LeRoy Dowd and Darcy Greenfield’s attorney did not responded to a request for a comment.

    The LAPD, The LA County Sheriff and the FBI are currently investigating this case, and so far
    no charges have been filed.

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